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I take my dog to daycare three days a week, and obviously she plays fine with the other dogs or they wouldn't allow her to be there. But sometimes when I bring her into the lobby to wait for them to let her in and there are other dogs present, she won't greet them nicely. There was a young Aussie waiting when we came in, and each of them were reaching to sniff each other, and Georgia starting growling, so I pulled her back to me. Then a Golden came in and she was really growling at that dog. The poor Golden was there for grooming and I'm not sure if she was used to other dogs because it looked like Georgia really scared her (or maybe she just didn't like being at the place where she gets groomed).

Once the employees let Georgia into the back area, she is fine with the other dogs. Is she protecting me, or is it leash aggression because I pull her back from other dogs when she growls? I try to leave it loose, but obviously once she starts growling, I don't want the other owner to feel threatened. She seems fine if the other dog ignores her while she sniffs, but if they are face to face, the growling starts.

Do I just need to work on having her sit by me while she waits to be let in? That should solve the problem, but I wonder what is causing it.
 

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Change your tactics. Instead of popping the leash which makes her leash reactive and it also creates the situtation where bad things happen in the presence of other dogs (she gets a leash pop) try stepping between her and the other dog. I would also doing the sit. You, as the pack leader, have the right to meet and greet other dogs first...then it's her turn. The sit gives you time to assess whether you want her to meet/greet the other dog. Again, it's your decision...not hers.
 
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